Sussex Neuroscience


The University of Sussex has one of the highest densities of Neuroscience faculty of any university in the UK, as well as large numbers of research fellows and doctoral students.

Our work integrates a broad range of questions and experimental techniques, and can be described under four themes: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience; Circuits, Systems and Computational Neuroscience; Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience, and Translational and Clinical Neuroscience. Research is distributed across three Schools of the University (Life Sciences, Psychology and Engineering & Informatics), as well as BSMS. In addition, there are several multidisciplinary research groupings and centres that cut across these Schools - a form of cooperation that is facilitated by our compact campus.

The strength of Neuroscience at Sussex is the legacy of John Maynard Smith, who identified the study of brain and behaviour as a keyarea when he founded the School of Life Sciences in 1965. JMS believed that divisions between traditional academic subjects were an unnecessary constraint to research. Thus, in 1970, Sussex became the first university in the UK, and perhaps the world, to offer a degree in Neuroscience. Sussex has continued this tradition of innovation and exploration, pioneering research in areas such as AI, imaging, computational neuroscience, robotics and, most recently, consciousness science.

A fundamental aim of Sussex Neuroscience is to foster an interactive and creative environment in which to tackle the most important questions in Neuroscience, and our interdisciplinary ethos is central to this. To help us realise this aim we have recently established a Neuroscience Centre that will bring together about 20 research groups using molecular, physiological and behavioural approaches. This centre will be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for imaging and electrophysiology, together with mechanical and electronics workshop and an on-site animal house. The close proximity of these groups and the sharing of central facilities will foster collaboration and the sharing of ideas. Work in the Neuroscience Centre will include investigation of the senses, learning and memory, synaptic function and the biological basis of addiction.

In addition to supporting fundamental research on the brain, Sussex Neuroscience will be a crucible for translating our improving understanding of the brain into innovations for improved public health and prosperity. Indeed one of our four research groups, Translational and Clinical Neuroscience, is dedicated explicitly to this objective. Importantly our potential for translational research has been recently augmented by our newly established Translational Drug Discovery group. As well as fostering medical and pharmaceutical applications, the interdisciplinary ethos of Sussex Neuroscience will also actively stimulate innovation at the interface between neuroscience and biologically-inspired robotics, engineering

New Neuroscience Centre

Experimental Neuroscience on the Sussex campus encompasses a range of techniques and questions, with particular strengths in learning and memory, neuropharmacology, sensory systems, synaptic physiology and behaviour and cognition.  About 20 of these groups are now located in a new Neuroscience Centre - a three-storey building specially refurbished to provide the infrastructure required for the best research.  This building will foster a highly interactive and collaborative way of working, with substantial sharing of space and facilities.  

NeuroCentre 1  NeuroCentre 2

4-year Ph.D programme in Neuroscience

Sussex Neuroscience attracts some of the the brightest and most enthusiastic young researchers.  To enhance the training we offer we launched a 4-Year PhD Programme, which provides a first year of lab rotations before the student decides on their primary research focus. The first cohort of students arrived in September 2014. For information on course structure, projects on offer and how to apply please refer to the 4-Year PhD Programme web page.